What value national co-operation?
It was in part the arrival of the Zeitz Foundation in Kenya recently, with Usain Bolt as their pointman - together with a strange article in the Daily Nation about Maasai taking to cricket in the bush, and the announcement that Cricket Beyond Boundaries is to up its input in Kenya and had started doing so in Kericho - that stirred up a concern that cricket must seek to develop away from its natural core centres, and if that means cooperation between countries, then why on earth not?
For I wonder how much East Africa (Uganda, Tanzania, Kenya) regrets having disbanded as a cricketing entity. Once, after some pretty unsure World Cup appearances in Birmingham in the 1980s, it seemed sensible for each country to go its own way - with its own funding. For a while Kenya did extremely well, while Uganda and Tanzania foundered. But is that the situation now? A regional 3/4-day league which incorporates the three countries would, I feel, do wonders for improvement of cricket standards in East Africa.
Although Zimbabwe's recent showings in Bangladesh and South Africa have not been of the best, the emergence of the Logan Cup there as a successful driving force makes me feel this could be the blueprint that would fit the bill for expansion of the 'longer' game elsewhere on the continent.
In the East African context, this might involve, in Kenya three provincial sides, Nairobi & Central, Coast and Rift Valley; in Uganda two regional sides, Kampala/Entebbe and Nile (Jinja); in Tanzania a national side based initially in Dar es Salaam but later in Arusha when the new wicket is put in there.
Namibia looks destined to benefit from its three-day experiences in South Africa's CSA provincial competition, and how long might it be before Botswana joins them? Zambia, too, might attach a side to the Logan set-up, either from its Copperbelt or Midlands associations. One day, even the likes of Lesotho, Swaziland, Malawi and Mozambique might get a look-in.
While, obviously, international experience is the culmination of development, the process towards that is just as important. Kenya's failings, such as they are, are pinned at the door of concentration on the one-day game; but examination of recent international results shows a brave draw in Ireland, a comprehensive win in Canada and a not altogether disgrace in Zimbabwe.
Uganda, likewise, fielding a much-weakened team, showed a lot of promise in their victory in Bermuda, but they don't play the long game again until they go to UAE in February. How a regional competition might enhance them.
Such a move would also encourage development of grounds, notablyArusha, possibly Laikipia if Zeitz plays ball.